Hilarie Bass

President and Founder, Bass Institute for Diversity & Inclusion. President of the American Bar Association (2017-2018). Co-President of Greenberg Traurig (2013-2018)




Specific topics

LGBT adoption issuesWhy Women LeaveWomen Leadershipdiversity managementgender parityimplicit biastalent retentionthe Rule of Law

Hilarie Bass is a global evangelist for gender parity and an outspoken advocate for expanding the ranks of women leaders at corporations, nonprofits and other institutions. She is also one of the most recognized attorneys in the United States, having served as co-president of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig from 2013 to 2018 and as president of the American Bar Association (ABA) from September 2017 to August 2018.

Throughout her law career, Hilarie fought for greater participation for women in the top ranks of law firms. At Greenberg Traurig, in addition to heading the firm’s 600-member litigation department for eight years, she founded and chaired its Women's Initiative. At the ABA, the world’s largest voluntary professional organization with more than 400,000 members, Hilarie traveled the world speaking on behalf of the ABA about the insidious damage of implicit bias in the legal profession and the importance of retaining and promoting female leaders. She also led the creation of a task force at the ABA on implicit bias in the justice system.

In late 2018, Hilarie left the law profession to launch the Bass Institute for Diversity & Inclusion, whose mission is to help CEOs worldwide evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their diversity initiatives, and to find new ways to increase diversity in leadership.

Hilarie brings a unique perspective to the topic of gender parity. She has spearheaded studies and research into why women leave law firms and which initiatives help keep them there. In her keynote presentations, Hilarie examines how implicit, unconscious biases can limit a company’s ability to attract and retain promising future leaders. After addressing the question “Why do women leave?” she provides solutions for improving the effectiveness of corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives. Her mission is to give companies the tools they need to retain the women they have and increase the number of women at the highest levels of leadership.

During her illustrious 38-year career in litigation, Hilarie worked on landmark legal cases, including widely recognized pro bono work on behalf of two foster children that led to the elimination of the state of Florida’s 20-year-old ban on gay adoption. Hilarie is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only organization that includes only the top 1% of lawyers. She was also consistently ranked among the top US lawyers by Chambers USA Guide, The Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon 500, Legal 500 United States, Florida Trend magazine's “Legal Elite,” Super Lawyers and many others.

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